"A great American tale told with a deft historical eye, painstaking analysis, and a supple clarity of writing.”Jean Baker
“My husband considered you a dear friend,” Mary Todd Lincoln wrote to Frederick Douglass in the weeks after Lincoln’s assassination. The frontier lawyer and the former slave, the cautious politician and the fiery reformer, the President and the most famous black man in Americatheir lives traced different paths that finally met in the bloody landscape of secession, Civil War, and emancipation. Opponents at first, they gradually became allies, each influenced by and attracted to the other. Their three meetings in the White House signaled a profound shift in the direction of the Civil War, and in the fate of the United States. James Oakes has written a masterful narrative history, bringing two iconic figures to life and shedding new light on the central issues of slavery, race, and equality in Civil War America.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
James Oakes is the author of several acclaimed books on slavery and the Civil War. His history of emancipation, Freedom National, won the Lincoln Prize and was longlisted for the National Book Award. He is Distinguished Professor of History and Graduate School Humanities Professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
While the story of President Lincoln's balancing act between practical and political has been well-documented many times over, the reciprocal transition of Douglass is much less so. Oakes provides an interesting look more deeply into that transition and, uniquely, its comparison with that of the president. As one with a little more than average interest in Lincoln, I found the book well-researched and insightful. As one who believes history is taught in order to enlighten the present, I couldn't help but be drawn to comparisons between Douglass and modern civil rights leaders, some who seem never to be satisfied with small achievements. I give The Radical and the Republican a strong recommendation for anyone the subject matter catches the attention of.
Starting from a nearly complete ignorance about Frederick Douglass I was very pleased to follow the story of Lincon and Douglass' as they made their way to the Emancipation Proclamation. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to any who are interested in the subject.
An interesting look at the public interplay of two uniquely influential nineteenth-century men aiming for similar goals. There is more insight into Mr. Douglass due to the broader palette of his writings and speeches, but the nuanced comparison of both men (addressing their faults and political approaches) makes the work worthwhile.